A couple weeks ago, I posted Part 1 of this discussion on weight management – Why Diets Don’t Actually Work. Here’s the rest of the story – how to manage weight with two, or a couple more, simple rules….
In the second part of the interview, a few days later, Dr Mann reveals two ‘secrets’ on how to change your eating patterns toward less calories and healthier that will blow your mind for their simplicity.
These really aren’t a secret – nearly everyone who’s ever tried to diet seriously has intuited at least the first and maybe the second. The key is to make trigger foods – those foods that you are inclined to eat when stressed, bored or simply lazy – such as, to cook – and don’t have them around.
That is to say, not to never eat them but to eat them with less frequency and volume by making it necessary to work harder to access them.
In other words, don’t buy them and leave them in the cupboard or freezer. But occasionally, do snack on these foods in an environment or situation that you can at least monitor volume.
The other, which in its simplicity will make you groan, is to buy, prepare and serve healthy choices of foods and volumes first.
Now she proposes you serve veggies first to minimize hunger when the other choices come out. Sounds like a salad for starters and, yes, that works, too. But you could also serve the chicken and broccoli before bringing out the mashed potatoes and applesauce. It’s all a matter of presentation.
But in the end, physics wins out when it comes to dieting. This is not to say it’s merely a ‘calories in, calories out’ proposition; but we all process our foods differently and therefor have different body types. Nonetheless, any and all diet books try to accomplish the goal of reducing caloric intake by somehow, magically or scientifically, reducing your hunger drives.
High protein diets work for a while because higher protein intake mollifies hunger and therefor appetite. Complex carbs, Mediterranean and other variants of a more veggie/less red meat diet try to get you to eat – and enjoy – more veggies and whole foods vs processed and fatty ones. But this exchange is designed to make you feel fuller – and more righteous – while depriving you of the foods that are notorious about making people eat more and accruing more calories.
So, take Dr Mann’s advice and make it harder to eat junkier foods and easier to fill up on healthier ones. Or try any of the popular diets – enriching some half-ass scientist or narcissistic weight loser. But remember, in the end it’s all about reducing calorie intake. The method that works best for you is the one you can do regularly, consistently and for the long haul, not simply for the next 8 weeks.
But if you want the skinny on getting skinnier – notice, I’m not promoting getting skinny – then try these three simple pieces of advice:
Don’t restrict calories excessively.
Eat more complex foods, not processed ones.
And add a little extra protein to the mix.
Oh…don’t forget exercise. That’s how you maintain metabolism/muscle mass and live healthy beyond body size.